Head & Neck Cancer in Tarzana

Head & Neck Cancer - Marc Cohen M.D, Tarzana Surgeon

Head & Neck Cancer

There are different kinds of head and neck cancers, including cancers of the nose, mouth, throat, salivary glands, sinuses, and lymph nodes.

Head and neck cancers mostly affect men, perhaps because 75% of cases are linked to tobacco users - most of whom are men. These cancers typically initiate in the moist tissues lining the nose, mouth, and throat.

Depending on the type of head and neck cancer, you may experience the following signs or symptoms:

  • White or red patch in the mouth
  • Chronic sore or swelling that won't heal
  • Bump or lump in the head/neck area - may be painful or painless
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Bad breath
  • Chronic nasal congestion or nasal obstruction
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Frequent nose bleeds or unusual discharge
  • Ear pain or infection
  • Loosening of teeth
  • Jaw pain
  • Difficulty chewing, speaking, and swallowing
  • Weakness or numbness of a part in the head/neck region

Diagnosis and treatment

If you are concerned about these symptoms, you should visit an ENT specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Cohen will perform a physical exam and conduct diagnostic tests, including a biopsy - a sample of the swollen tissue is extracted and examined under a microscope - to determine whether the growth is cancerous.

Most head and neck cancers are curable if found early. Treatments include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, or a combination.

Dr. Cohen may also recommend palliative care, supportive care, or symptom management to relieve the existing, new, or changing symptoms. Keep in mind that you will also need rehabilitation because cancer treatments tend to affect your ability to speak, eat, and breath.